From the moment I stepped into the theater, I felt taken care of. I can’t say this for every piece of theater that intends to bring about social change. . . This is not an easy play (or topic) and it felt like a safe room all the way through the performance and the moderated discussion.
I especially loved watching the students actors and understanding the larger context for this project and their involvement over the past year. The students were really great— some of them are on stage for the very first time and you can tell they are super proud to be in a Fringe show.
I’m also grateful that the play offers very “non-gray” definitions and explanations within the script in a very conversational way. The dialogue is well written— this is not an afterschool special. The play is very clear about what is and isn’t considered rape and does not equivocate about right and wrong. It’s awesome to see ensemble process at work and to be reminded that theater can crack open dialogue and conversation.
What I didn't like
Currently, this piece is designed for students to perform and is largely centered around the student characters. I think there might be room for more scenes about the other conversations that are happening on campus or perhaps at homes. Including specific roles for educators and teachers (possibly developed/rehearsed separately) could potentially open up more conversation and lead to more buy-in when the piece goes to other campuses.
My overall impression
Bravo to the Lady Parts Collective for the clarity of their mission and ability to use their artistic voice to activate change! This project bravely and directly addresses sexual violence and rape on college campuses with professionalism, excellence, respect, and urgency. It’s pretty incredible to know that this has been a 3-year co-writing process. This is community-based social change work at its finest!!